ALPHA KETOGLUTARATE, MALATE, AND CITRATE: CITRIC ACID CYCLE INTERMEDIATES

Alpha-Ketoglutarate, malate, and citrate in Spectrum Needs

Alpha Ketoglutaric acid molecule diagramThese citric acid cycle intermediates are added in order to support mitochondrial energy metabolism. In addition to alpha-Ketoglutarate, these intermediates are provided in the forms of magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, and potassium citrate. Side effects are unexpected.

The Details

What is Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate?

Alpha-Ketoglutarate, malate, and citrate are organic acids that serve as intermediates in the citric acid cycle.

What does ha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate do?

The citric acid cycle, also known as the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle or the Krebs cycle, is a series of chemical reactions used to release stored energy through the oxidation of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into carbon dioxide and chemical energy in the form of NADH and ATP. This cycle is fundamental to all aerobic (oxygen-requiring) life, including humans.

What does an Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate deficiency appear as?

Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate can be synthesized in the body by the citric acid cycle, and are not required in the diet. Deficiency is unknown.

What about Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate’s use in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

The role of citric acid intermediates in the treatment of ASD has not been studied. Several lines of evidence support the notion that some children with ASD have abnormal mitochondrial metabolism (this topic is reviewed in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4910649/pdf/cmped-10-2016-043.pdf).

What about Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate’s use in other conditions?

Alpha-ketoglutarate is sometimes used to boost athletic performance and to help heal wounds. In addition, alpha-Ketoglutarate can reduce levels of ammonia (and excess nitrogen) formed in the brain, muscles and kidneys. Malate and citrate are all frequently provided as part of mineral supplements. Citrate is sometimes used to prevent kidney stones and to alkalize the blood or urine in various conditions.

What are the common and/or important side effects of Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate?

Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.

Is there any laboratory testing for an Alpha-ketoglutarate, Malate, and Citrate Deficiency?

Urine organic acid testing can quantify these citric acid intermediates, but this is not likely to be of clinical utility other than in screening for metabolic/mitochondrial disorders.

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